City Administrator Steve Roth said he wants to revise the city’s planned unit development (PUD) zoning district regulations.
The PUD is an overlay zoning district that authorizes aldermen to alter basic zoning regulations on proposed developments to encourage a mixture of land uses compatible with surrounding neighborhoods and promote flexibility in the placement of buildings.
In Pacific, in addition to residential subdivisions, the PUD district is required for any new construction in a commercial or industrial district, or the expansion or reconstruction of an existing building in excess of 10 percent of the floor area.
Pacific’s use of the PUD zoning district has come under fire from area builders who say it’s used too often and is too costly for many developments, especially for for small single unit commercial developments.
City leaders have worried that some developers will simply bypass Pacific after seeing the impact the PUD would have on their project.
In his staff report, submitted Nov. 19, Roth said he has done some preliminary work on revising the regulation, but has not effectively started the revision process.
Roth said he and City Attorney Robert Jones had discussed the measure and they believe that revising the PUD process is the top staff priority at this time. Roth will craft the recommended changes, which Jones will than refine and the end result presented to the planning and zoning commission for consideration.
Roth believes the process could be handled within the existing city attorney budget and should not require a separate contract or budget.
More changes to the zoning code are needed, he said, but those would require a more elaborate revision process.
“More comprehensive revisions, such as implementation of a mixed use zoning district for the downtown and flood plain areas, would be a bigger project and may be better suited for a planning consultant working in cooperation with the city attorney firm Curtis Heinz Garrett O’Keefe,” Roth said.